The sight of a pregnant female Defence Secretary inspecting her troops isn't just revolutionary for Spain - it's unthinkable here. It's even more impressive, considering that progressive Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero has now appointed more women than men to his reelected government, and with an eye on this backdrop:
In Spain, women earn about 30 per cent less than men, and take up less than 4 per cent of the places on the boards of the major companies. More than 40 per cent of Spanish mothers of young children work outside the home. Domestic violence persists: during 2007, 71 women were killed by their husbands or partners.
The rise of women in Spanish government and Chacon's assumption of the Defence portfolio originate directly from Zapatero's 40 per cent rule, which prohibits men or women from making up more than 60 per cent of the candidates of any political party that contests national or local elections. It could open spectacular opportunities in local government as well as in the boardroom. Sadly the macho male stereotypes aren't being challenged worth a damn in the UK.